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  March 9th, 2016 | Written by

Washburn Switch Business Park Receives CSX Select Site Designation

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  • Select Sites are development-ready properties along the CSX network.
  • CSX partners with The Austin Company to screen candidate select sites and assist with the certification process.
  • Cleveland County and City of Shelby have taken steps to position property for rail-served development.

CSX has designated the Washburn Switch Business Park in Cleveland County, North Carolina, as a CSX Select Site.

Select Sites are development-ready properties along the CSX network where standard land-use considerations and comprehensive due diligence items have been previously addressed. These properties are well positioned to meet manufacturers’ needs, significantly reducing the time required to construct facilities and ultimately bring products to market.

“The fast-growing metropolitan areas of Charlotte and Asheville, North Carolina, as well as Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina, are all within a 60-mile radius of this site,” said Carl Warren, director of ports and industrial development at CSX. “The Washburn Switch Business Park offers one of the best available rail-served industrial sites in this region.”

CSX introduced the Select Site program in 2012 to better serve new and existing customers on its network. CSX partners with The Austin Company, a nationally-known site selection consulting firm, to screen candidate sites and assist communities with the application and certification process.

“Over the last four years, Cleveland County and the City of Shelby have taken the right steps to position this property to be ready for rail-served development,” said Jonathan Gemmen, senior location consultant for The Austin Company. “From purchasing the property, to designing and permitting utility extensions, to conducting the necessary environmental studies, these proactive steps send a welcoming message to prospective companies.”

In early 2017, North Carolina Department of Transportation plans to open the first leg of the U.S. Highway 74 Bypass around the north side of Shelby.

“With an interchange at Washburn Switch Road, the bypass will provide interstate-quality access just a few hundred yards south of this site,” said Eddie Holbrook of the Cleveland County Board of Commissioners.

“With several other industrial facilities in the neighborhood, we’ve known that this community should continue to see growth in the manufacturing sector,” said Kristin Reese, executive director of the Cleveland County Economic Development Partnership (CCEDP), the community’s industry recruitment arm. The Select Site designation was publicly announced today following CCEDP’s board meeting in Shelby, North Carolina.

The Washburn Switch Business Park is the third site in North Carolina to be designated a CSX Select Site.

To receive CSX Select Site designation, the location must meet a rigorous list of criteria, including infrastructure and utility availability, environmental reviews, appropriate zoning and entitlement, rail serviceability, proximity to highways or interstates, and other attributes. Once certified, the sites are featured on, a web portal that includes additional information, promotional materials and direct marketing to site selection professionals.